→ Upcoming Releases ←

Upcoming books related to the presidency are shown below. This list is based on press releases, news stories, emails from publishers and authors, emails/comments I receive and tentative publication dates provided by booksellers. Titles and publication dates are subject to change.

Last updated September 18, 2021.  Recent changes shown in bold. If I’m missing something please let me know!

Upcoming Releases:

Washington Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy by Nathaniel Philbrick Sept 14
Trump/ Biden Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa
Sept 21
Biden The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty Year Rise to Power by Ben Schreckinger Sept 21
Grant General Grant and the Verdict of History by Frank Varney Sept 30
Lincoln The Mythic Mr. Lincoln: America’s Favorite President in Multimedia Fiction by Jeff O’Bryant Oct 4
Trump I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House by Stephanie Grisham Oct 5
Bush The Presidency of George W. Bush by John Robert Greene
Oct 7
Washington Washington at the Plough: The Founding Farmer and the Question of Slavery by Bruce Ragsdale
Oct 12
Grant To Rescue the Republic: Ulysses S. Grant, the Fragile Union, and the Crisis of 1876 by Bret Baier
Oct 12
Obama The Black President: Hope and Fury in the Age of Obama by Claude Clegg III Oct 12
Eisenhower The Religious Journey of Dwight D. Eisenhower by Jack Holl Oct 19
Lincoln The Broken Constitution: Lincoln, Slavery, and the Refounding of America by Noah Feldman Nov 2
Lincoln The President and the Freedom Fighter: Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and the Battle to Save America’s Soul by Brian Kilmeade Nov 2
Lincoln The Black Man’s President: Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and the Pursuit of Racial Equality by Michael Burlingame Nov 2
Madison James Madison: America’s First Politician by Jay Cost Nov 2
JFK Coup in Dallas: The Decisive Investigation into Who Killed JFK by H.P. Albarelli Jr. Nov 16
Jefferson Reclamation: Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson, and a Descendant’s Search for Her Family’s Lasting Legacy by Gayle Jessup White Nov 16
Lincoln His Greatest Speeches: How Lincoln Moved the Nation by Diana Schaub Nov 16
FDR FDR in American Memory: Roosevelt and the Making of an Icon by Sara Polak Dec 14
JFK, Nixon Campaign of the Century: Kennedy, Nixon and the Election of 1960 by Irwin Gellman
Jan 4, 2022
Biden
Hell & High Water: Joe Biden’s Moment and America’s Existential Election by John Heilemann
[Jan 18, 2022]
Carter Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: Power and Human Rights, 1975-2020 (Vol 2) by E. Stanly Godbold
Feb 1, 2022
Nixon Watergate: A New History by Garrett Graff Feb 8, 2022
Harding The Jazz Age President: Defending Warren G. Harding by Ryan Walters
Feb 15, 2022
Truman The Trials of Harry S. Truman: The Extraordinary Presidency of an Ordinary Man by Jeffrey Frank
Mar 1, 2022
Obama Barack Obama: Conservative, Pragmatist, Progressive by Burton Kaufman
Mar 15, 2022
Trump The Presidency of Donald J. Trump: A First Historical Assessment by Julian Zelizer
Mar 29, 2022
Nixon The Peacemaker: Richard Nixon the Man, Patriot, President, and Visionary by Ben Stein Apr 5, 2022
JFK Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency by Mark Updegrove Apr 12, 2022
Lincoln Saving the Union: Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Fight for the Future of America by Joe Scarborough May 31, 2022
Jefferson, Madison, Monroe The Jeffersonians: The Visionary Presidencies of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe by Kevin Gutzman Dec 25, 2022
JQA Putting America First: John Quincy Adams’s Teachings for Our Time by Angelo Codevilla [tbc]
Trump [Currently untitled] by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser
2022
Trump [Currently untitled] by Maggie Haberman
2022
Trump [Currently untitled] by Susan Craig and Ross Buettner
-rumored-
Trump [Currently untitled] by Kellyanne Conway
-rumored-
JFK [2nd volume in JFK series] by Fredrik Logevall
-tbd-
Cleveland A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland” by Troy Senik
-tbd-
Buchanan [Currently untitled] by Paul Kahan -tbd-
JFK [Currently untitled] by Timothy Nafthali -tbd-
T Roosev [Currently untitled] by T.J. Stiles -tbd-
Van Buren [Currently untitled] by James Bradley -tbd-
Harding [Currently untitled] by Ronald and Allis Radosh -tbd-
LBJ [Volume 5] by Robert Caro -tbd-
Ford [Currently untitled] by Richard Norton Smith -tbd-
Grant [Currently untitled] (Vol 2) by Brooks Simpson -tbd-
Madison [Currently untitled] by John Meacham -tbd-
Garfield [The Life and Labors of James Garfield] by Charles Goodyear -tbd-

The list of upcoming presidential biographies releases is based on information believed to be accurate; dates are subject to change prior to publication. Not every new/upcoming release will end up in my library (or being reviewed on this site).

415 thoughts on “→ Upcoming Releases ←”

  1. I happened upon references to a couple of new books that are in the works – “A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland” by Troy Senik, and “The Life and Labors of James Garfield” by CW Goodyear. No word on publication dates that I could find.

    On a side note, Charles Rappleye, whose last book was on Hoover (and which I highly recommend) was working on a biography of Zachary Taylor when he unfortunately passed away about a year and a half ago. I got in touch with his literary agent, who confirmed sadly that the book was not completed and won’t be published. A real loss.

    • The news about Charles Rappleye’s passing is indeed sad. His book on Hoover was first class.

      The books by Troy Senik and CW Goodyear are being well hidden by the publishers – whoever they may be. Have you picked up that information?

      • Both are said to be Simon & Schuster – I can’t find much about Goodyear’s book, but Senik is promoting his in his online profiles.

        As for Rappleye, I have no idea how far he had gotten on the Taylor book – maybe not far enough for someone else to continue or complete it. But given that Steve and we commenters are always wishing a first-rate writer would take on a lesser-known president, a Rappleye book on Zachary Taylor could have been quite the treat.

      • Very good news. After not finding much information about either book, I was afraid they were going to be published by a vanity press.

      • I had not previously heard anything about Senik’s or Goodyear’s books and no publisher has contacted me yet to claim credit for them(!)

        Count me in, too, as disappointed we won’t have the benefit of seeing what Rappleye could have done with Zachary Taylor. Coincidentally I’m beginning his Hoover biography later today and expect to read his biography of Robert Morris in a few months!

    • Gary Schantz said:

      While it is a shame that Rappleye passed, it is unfortunate that the editor does not have someone to complete the book. I was always under the impression that all writers have a “ghost-writer” per se that does the grunt work that the author then finalizes before passing on to the editor. But perhaps I am wrong.

      • Hi Steve,
        Rick Perlstein is due out with the next volume of his series: Reaganland. I had to look back to see if you read Nixonland (yes) and The Invisible Bridge (no). So I am not sure if you wish to add this one to the biography upcoming release list. If you do, it is due out on 8/11/20. From what I can tell, he focuses on 1976-1980. I find it tough to put Perlstein’s works into either Biography or History, as I think they are an enmeshed combination of both categories. I hope you are well. Take care.

      • I definitely want to include this here, so thanks for sharing! Although I have tried to only read things that are rigorously classified as “biography” I have tried to maintain more flexibility for new releases since there are so many compelling president- and presidency-related books published. You might think that with pandemics and stay-at-home orders, etc. I’d be able to get more reading done (including things not strictly considered biographies) and, yet….

  2. Can I request that you restore the list of recent releases that also used to appear on this page? I always found it helpful because it showed me what books I could actually buy, unlike books that are not yet available.

    • Jeff, I moved those to their own pages (each past year of new releases has its own page) because this page got to be cumbersome in length.

      When you hover over the “Upcoming Releases” title in the upper row of menu items, a drop-down menu should appear which gives you the option of also going to individual pages for the past “new releases” for years 2015 through 2020. Another way to get to the 2019 page of releases would be to go to this address: https://bestpresidentialbios.com/2019-releases/ – or substitute 2018, 2017, etc., for those years.

  3. It won’t be the first in 2021, but here’s the first one for the list:

    The Virginia Dynasty by Kevin Gutzman

    • Ah yes…it’s time to start looking forward to 2021! Thanks for sharing-

    • Actually, due to being forced to stay home, I decided to use this time to try knocking out some of the larger books I have. Like you, somehow I still do not have enough time to read (I don’t mean that as a complaint as I feel fortunate to continue to work full time). Nonetheless I did read The Invisible Bridge and I think, if you ever get a chance, it’s absolutely worth your time to read. There are some chapters that are straight biography of Reagan when he was young. Still, that one is more history then biography overall.

      After recently reading the Logevall book on Vietnam, I am eagerly anticipating his upcoming JFK biography. I have a lot of books on my shelves devoted to FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, LBJ, and Nixon. Yet only a few on Kennedy. So I think I need to beef that spot up a bit at some point.

      • I remember assigning no rating to the Perlstein book I read on Nixon since I couldn’t characterize it as a true (or even “mostly”) biography, but I vividly remember finding it enjoyable and interesting. If I’m not mistaken, “The Invisible Bridge” is the sequel to the book I read which definitely makes it a Must Read!

        I’m also looking forward to three or four (or five?) biographies slated to come out this year including one on James Monroe (next few days?), Jimmy Carter, John Adams, JFK…….

  4. J. Jensen said:

    This morning I received my copy of “President without a Party: The Life of John Tyler” which was released just today. Based on the introduction and epilogue which I just read, this should be an excellent read. Already it’s illuminated his character fairly well, and touched on his family life more than previous biographies which often overlook it. Indeed, some of the chapters are “Absence as a Way of Life,” “Miss Gardiner,” “A New Bride and a New State,” and “Fatherhood, Part Two.”

    It seems one of the most common quibbles in your reviews is the lack of insight into their home and family lives, as well as a lack of appropriate context that analyzes the president as a whole and presents a nice overview. This seems like it will provide both of those very well. The Epilogue was only 3 pages but was a very efficient 3 pages and provided excellent analysis and context for John Tyler, focusing on the comment someone made of him that only history would tell if he had died too late or too soon. Leahy analyzes that comment and how Tyler’s legacy would be different if he had died before the Civil War. Anyway, this looks to be great and hit on several of the key points you consistently look for in biographies.

    • Thanks for the insight. I’ve not yet received my copy of Leahy’s bio of Tyler but I did get Tim McGrath’s new biography of Monroe on time a couple days ago and am knee-deep in that now. Not to jump the shark, but based on your commentary I might have more satisfied waiting a few extra days for the Tyler bio 🙂

      • Say it ain’t so. I was looking forward to the Monroe bio.

      • The good news is that while the first 1/3 or more of the book underwhelmed me, it improves as it moves to and through Monroe’s presidency.

      • Very good. It seems to be getting generally positive reviews – including one in the WSJ.

      • I received my copy of McGrath’s “Monroe” bio this week as well and did my usual quick overview (when I get a new book I read the introduction/prologue and then the epilogue or closing chapter) to get a quick feel for the author’s writing style, approach, etc. I know comparing the final chapter is but a small window into the overall work, but of the two I definitely like the epilogue better in the Tyler bio. I’m sure both will be great reads, however. Both are getting pretty good reviews.

        Another comforting point from the Tyler bio is the author does not appear to be a Tyler apologist who is going to try to make him sound far more important than he really was, or try to justify some of his glaring weaknesses, namely his siding with the Confederacy during the Civil War. Again, that’s just going off 2 chapters, but the epilogue makes it pretty clear that Leahy understands Tyler while not worshiping him.

  5. The University of Kansas Press will be publishing their volume on the 1880 election in either August (the Publisher’s site) or October (Amazon):
    https://kansaspress.ku.edu/series/american-presidential-elections/978-0-7006-2982-4.html

  6. Due from David O Stewart right before Presidents’ Day 2021:

  7. Rick Clarke said:

    Hello Steve,
    I came across your website a few months back and can’t seem to stay away. I have always enjoyed a good biography, especially
    of historical note. Although I am Canadian I find American history profoundly more interesting. I really enjoy your recommendations for best presidential biographies and now have acquired a number of them. It really helps when someone has
    already done the “work” of determining the best biography. I really appreciate all the time searching through Amazon and related sites you have saved me. Thankyou so much

    • My pleasure! I’ve been surprised at the number of people from the UK and Canada who enjoy reading US presidential biographies – I get notes and emails frequently which support that fact. And the UK and Canada tend to account for 10% of my web traffic (something I can discern from web hosting data). I hope you continue to enjoy visiting the site and let me know if you come across something I’ve missed!

  8. It was bugging me that I couldn’t find out any more about Goodyear’s book on Garfield, but he’s now posted a reference to the book on his LinkedIn profile:
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/charles-goodyear-61920298
    So maybe that’s confirmation enough to move it from “rumored” to “tbd” on the list?

    • Excellent sleuthing – thanks! But what, exactly, compels someone three or four years out of college to write a biography on Garfield I wonder?

      • I can’t imagine – it’s certainly not the kind of thing that was on my mind three or four years out of college! But if he feels compelled to write about Garfield, we can only hope it’s because he has something compelling to say.

  9. Kai Bird’s Carter biography has a title and date:

  10. Not that it matters a whole lot at this point, but Dr. Gutzman’s book has a new name and a new date:
    The Jeffersonians: The Visionary Presidencies of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, December 14, 2021.

    I’m guessing the title to Dr. Cheney’s recent book was a little too close.

    • I totally missed the previous similarity in titles – possibly b/c I thought they were the same book 🙂

    • Gary B Schantz said:

      I did not realize that there were two with the same titles until I went to purchase the book and saw that Cheney was the author. I did not like her book on Madison. However, I will Gutzman’s book a try.

  11. I see you’ve just added a JFK assassination book to the list of upcoming titles; I’d question the value of such conspiracy-theory-laden books.

    • I occasionally attempt to weed out the most “fringe”ish of the upcoming books on the presidents, but perhaps more often I just let people decide for themselves how to handle some of the less “mainstream” titles. Suffice it to say I probably won’t be reading (much less reviewing) the title you’re referring to 🙂

  12. This may be a candidate for the best early book on Trump’s presidency (published by the University Press of Kansas):

    The Unorthodox Presidency of Donald J. Trump
    https://kansaspress.ku.edu/subjects/presidential-studies/978-0-7006-3231-2.html

    A placeholder for those (me) needing books on all of the Presidents.

  13. Ronald M Park said:

    Michael Dobbs will be releasing on May 25 a new book entitled: King Richard-Nixon and Watergate -An American Tragedy.

  14. A couple upcoming releases:

    – Watergate: A New History by Garrett Graff, November 2, 2021, Simon & Schuster. Given the new information released over the last 30 years, this may supplant Stanley Kutler’s Wars of Watergate.

    – Joseph Smith for President: The Prophet, the Assassins, and the Fight for American Religious Freedom, by Spencer McBride, May 11, 2021, Oxford Univ Press. This one may be quirky. It is being published by Oxford University Press, but the author works on the Joseph Smith Papers Project.

    • The first presidential candidate assassinated in U.S. history was Joseph Smith, that’s a bit of trivia I think most people would miss on Jeopardy since he’s far more well known for his religious history than political. I’m very much looking forward to this one as I have several friends who are historians on the Joseph Smith Papers Project.

      The Watergate one should be good as well. I went ahead and pre-ordered it. I’m curious as well if it will address the information recovered in the last decade or so about several secret ex parte meetings between trial judge John Sirica and Special Prosecutor Jaworski.

      • Gary B Schantz said:

        I am not so sure I would consider Joseph Smith a presidential candidate in 1844 any more than I considered Jesse Jackson a presidential candidate in 1984.

        I recently finished “American Crucifixion” which tells about Smith and his life in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri. I understand your interest in the subject of Joseph Smith as I was too which is why I read about him.

        However his death was the result of his obsessiveness in being seen as a God (hence the title of the book) as opposed to being a threat to become president. I doubt any of his murderers thought twice about a Smith presidency.

      • How did you find American Crucifixion?

      • Gary B Schantz said:

        I was looked up books on Goodreads about Joseph Smith and/or Mormons.

      • Sorry. Let me rephrase: “How did you like American Crucifixion?”

      • Gary B Schantz said:

        I liked the book a lot. It was a quick read and gave me some good background. I choose to read it as part of John Tyler’s presidency.

  15. Let’s open 2022 up with Irwin Gellman’s contribution to the 1960 election literature:

  16. Coming June 1 from Peter Canellos and S&S: “The Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America’s Judicial Hero ”

    “Biographer Canellos (Last Lion) intertwines in this original and eye-opening biography the lives of Supreme Court justice John Marshall Harlan and his rumored half-brother, Robert Harlan, who was born a slave.”

  17. Defending Harding will be published by Regnery just in time for President’s Day 2022:

  18. The Mythic Mr. Lincoln is due out in early August of 2021 from McFarland Publishing. The book examines Lincoln’s fictional appearances in silent and modern film, television, literature, animation, comic books, Old-Time radio, and more. From the back of the book:

    Honest Abe. The rail-splitter. The Great Emancipator. Old Abe. These are familiar monikers of Abraham Lincoln, appellations that admirers instantly recognize. They describe a man who has influenced the lives of everyday people as well as notables like Leo Tolstoy, Marilyn Monroe, and Winston Churchill. But there is also a multitude of fictional Lincolns almost as familiar as the original: time traveler, android, monster hunter, and more. This book explores Lincoln’s evolution from martyred president to cultural icon and the struggle between the Lincoln of history and his fictional progeny. He has been Simpsonized by Matt Groening, charmed by Shirley Temple, and emulated by the Lone Ranger. Countless devotees have attempted to rescue him through time travel, to clone him, or to raise him from the dead. Lincoln’s image and memory have been invoked to fight communism, mock a sitting president, and sell products. Lincoln has even been portrayed as the greatest example of goodness humanity has to offer. In short, Lincoln is the essential American myth.

  19. Matt Loper said:

    Has there been any word regarding whether Ron Chernow is working on another book?

  20. Burton Kaufman on Obama’s presidency:

  21. Gary B Schantz said:

    I am posing this question for the administrator as well as for all viewers of this site. Being that Trump has probably become (or will be over the next few years) the most written about president in American history, how does one choose a few books on him? And which few does one choose?

    • I have a strong suspicion it’s going to be a long, long time before a comprehensive, balanced, scholarly biography of Trump is written. I won’t be holding my breath…

      • Gary B Schantz said:

        I think it is fair to say that most books written about a sitting president (as well as recent presidents that are still living) tend to be one-sided. The books are lovefests or assaults which I think is what you get with Bob Woodward (leans Democrat) or Edward Klein (leans Republican). Authors that write from a more historical perspective have a broader view but then the reader has to wait 30-40 years for that book to appear so yeah it will be a long time. Most likely I won’t be around for that book.

        Anyhow, for the time being, I plan to read a few books on Trump from both sides of the aisle as I did with Obama. However, as I wrote, there are so many books on Trump that I am not sure where to start so I picked John Bolton’s because at least he was in the WH as opposed to a reporter and his anonymous sources.

    • I concur with Steve that it will be a long time before anything resembling a balanced biography is created. If you want to pick up a few books to hold you over, I would suggest looking at books published by university presses or written by authors who looking to put Trump’s presidency in perspective. A very important question for me is “How were the author’s prior books received?”

    • Yes, I have come across a couple of relatively balanced books on Trump’s time as POTUS already – check out Michael Nelson, ‘Trump’s First Year’. It is mostly fair and balanced and Nelson has updated it to include Trump’s 2nd year as well. It is not a biography, but a record of what happened.

      I also think Conrad Black’s book on Trump is a good one to read; Black recognizes Trump’s inappropriate behaviour and comments, but he also highlights some of his strengths as a different type of President.

  22. In response to Gary’s question, I’d also recommend ‘The Unorthodox Presidency of Donald J. Trump’ by Paul Rutledge and Chapman Rackaway. I have not read this book yet, but I anticipate it will be balanced and well-written, based on the synopsis, the current reviews and what I’ve read about the authors. Again, this is not a biography per se, but a record of what happened.

  23. Julian Zelizer is tackling the Trump presidency as well. These academic press book prices are trying to find a peak. This one is starting a nickel under $100.

    • Although it’s just “way too soon” for me to be reading about 45 (for so many reasons) this could certainly be interesting. But did someone at the Federal Reserve suggest inflation is under control?

      • I think Powell said long-term inflation is under control – short-term will be ‘elevated’. You will need a Trump placeholder eventually.

    • Gary Bryan Schantz said:

      This could indeed be a little too soon….2024, anyone?

      • Yes, it is too soon. Anything for the next few years will just be a scholarly synthesis of existing journalism.

  24. redskullduggery said:

    2022 Truman release: The Trials of Harry S. Truman: The Extraordinary Presidency of an Ordinary Man, 1945-1953

  25. This is a great site! There’s a new book on JFK coming out in April 2022. “Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency” by Mark Updegrove.

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